Turkish holiday spot Antalya may see 65 percent drop in visitors

The number of tourists visiting Turkey’s southern resort of Antalya may drop up to 65 percent due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Diken news outlet said on Thursday.

Some 5.3 million tourists are expected to visit Antalya this year, Diken said, citing a report by the province's municipality.

Antalya hit a record high of over 15 million visits by foreign tourists in 2019, nearly 34 percent of all travellers to Turkey.

Russians are once more expected to be the nationality with the highest number of tourists, with 2.4 million coming up to the end of August. The second highest number– 1.7 million – will come from Germany, with Ukrainian, British and Polish nationals following in the top five respectively, according to the report.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has taken a heavy toll on Turkey’s tourism sector, with hotels recording a large number of cancellations in bookings for the coming season. The Turkish government earlier announced its plans to draw in tourists with a new coronavirus-free certification programme for the industry.